ARE YOU BRAVE ENOUGH TO BE MORE PERSUASIVE???
As a Hypnotherapist, folks sometimes ask how they can influence others more thinking that I must use my hypnotic powers to magically get others to do what I desire. The truth is, that is NOT what I do in my Hypnotherapy practice because it is all about helping clients to achieve their goals. In my personal life however, I have always had a strong knack for being a persuasive dynamo. I think this stems from being more of an introvert, while at the same time also being a former entertainer. Being naturally introverted when I was not on stage, I spent a lot of time observing other people and was seemingly able to intuit what worked best from an early age.
The great news is that influence and persuasion techniques are learnable, and with practice (and of course, using ethics and morals), you can certainly employ them to boost your success in nearly anything, even if you are already doing quite well, and really, who wouldn’t want to add to their skill set what so many amazing and powerful, even famous people like Oprah and Tony Robbins are already utilizing to make them off-the-charts successful?
To start, I’ll share some of the easier things I learned throughout the years that definitely make others pay more attention. My number one go-to has always been a good, open posture. Stand or sit erect, and when speaking or presenting to others, have your limbs uncrossed, smile, and make eye contact much of the time, but not all of the time. This makes you look approachable, yet also gives the impression you know what you’re doing (giving you an air of authority). Be excited and passionate - because nobody wants to listen if you mumble or look bored; let them see the spark in your eye, and give them a little "razzle-dazzle" if it’s warranted. When you speak (especially before asking a question that you would like a "Yes" response to), nod your head to pace and lead your audience into nodding their head(s), and thus, automatically wanting to agree with you. Ask them questions, show, interest, and agree with them so that you have a sense of commonality or likability, and notice that once a person does say “yes” a few times, they are much more likely to continue agreeing with you, and or saying yes to what you ask of them.We call this the "yes mind-set" in hypnosis. Also, if you notice them pursing their lips, this generally means they are about to say no, so keep working on convincing them BEFORE they speak up saying “no”, and you will be more successful at getting your “yes”. Sometimes using a double bind question can be useful as well. For example, you could say, "Would you like to make an appointment this week or next?". This gives them a sense of empowerment yet you’re really only giving them two choices, both of which work for you.
Language patterns are another great tool because certain words such as “naturally”, “easily”, “effortlessly”, “aware”, “notice”, “realize”, and “focus” naturally, loosen up our brains to search for what follows. So, start with one of these words, and follow up by inciting some emotion to more easily influence someone to readily follow your lead. Pepper your sentences with descriptive words from our three main, sensory styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) to further your cause. Saying "because" after making a request has proven to get more folks to comply. Additionally adding phrases such as “scientifically proven” or “evidenced-based” can further convince and build trust, as can closing with something like: “you will be amazed at the results you get from this astonishing new technique, and I’m not sure if you’re ready to sign up yet, but this offer is only for the next 20 people and I don’t want you to regret missing out”. This adds a negative emotion to NOT doing what you suggest as well as scarcity (regret and only 20 people). Of course, you don’t want to overdo (or unethically utilize) any of these tools.
According to Robert Cialdini, “the father of influence”, the seven basic, research-proven principles of influence are: reciprocity, social proof, commitment and consistency, liking, authority, unity, and scarcity. There are other techniques as well, including using energetic arousal, which can be done by getting a heart racing using caffeine, movement, a challenge, or even watching an exciting or scary movie. If someone thanks you for something, you can double down on their naturally existing sense of reciprocity by saying: “You’re welcome, and I know you would do the same thing for me.“
You might be more successful at getting some assistance if you appeal to a person’s sense of mastery (much better than outright flattery) by saying something like: “I’m working on this project and I’m having some difficulty. I was wondering if you have run into the same problem?”. Yet another strategy is known as the “BYAF technique”. It states that when asking for something, folks are much more likely to say yes if you add the phrase “but you are free to say no” to the end of your request simply because it gives them a sense of control and empowerment.
Of course there are countless other techniques too, and a few of them were even interspersed in the first couple of paragraphs of this blog! I aroused your sense of curiosity with my opening question, did I not? Also, note on the second paragraph the use of “even if”…this can be utilized when you can intuit what one’s objections might be BEFORE they voice them. There were also references to social proof and authority (“so many amazing and powerful people like Oprah and Tony Robbins are already utilizing”)! Pretty interesting stuff, isn’t it? Hope you enjoyed.